But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. – Ruth 1:16-18 (NIV)
Family is a funny thing. While blood is supposedly thicker than water, Ruth proves otherwise. It was her commitment to Naomi despite blood that gained her a reputation among the Jewish people. It was her entrance into a family of her choosing that set her apart as honorable and noble. It was her decision to stay with the family she adored that placed her in the lineage of David and Jesus.
We all have two families; the one we are born into (or adopted into) and the one we chose to be part of. The family of man and the family of God. As our children grow in their life with God, they will need to choose to be a part of God’s family. It is not something they can inherit or marry into; it is something they must choose and keep choosing. However, it is the responsibility of the family by blood to prepare them for the spiritual family.
This is why it is so important to be part of a community of believers. It is hard to know how to live with family if you aren’t spending time with them. Children need to be involved in prayer, worship, service and fellowship. They will need to learn how to get along with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Our children are also God’s children, with family responsibilities. A life with God’s people should begin at home, but it culminates everywhere else. Hopefully, in this way, we can raise our children to not just to play well with other, but pray well with others.
Lord, help me to raise not just my child, but your child, that they would call you Father and have fellowship with their brothers and sisters. Help me to love my family into Your larger family. May all we do as a family fit us for Yours. Amen.